their earlier games...
all their games...
Excerpts from an interview with Lee Changho
Question: Last year, Go Seigen made a comment on you.
Go said you "studies a lot and hard, but in terms of talent
doesn't look as good as Cho Hunhyun, your teacher."
What do you think about this?
Answer: I agree.
There are many inspiring moments in Seonsangnim's (Sensei,
Teacher) or ChangHyuk's Baduk. My Baduk is not much so. I wish
I could play a good game beyond winning and losing, but it has
been hard for me. ChangHyuk, even when he is quiite behind in
territory, has the ability of turning around the tide of game by
attacking opponent's weak groups. He really is superior in that.
But I get easily nervous when I am behind in territory. I am
more of a pessimist and optimist.
Question: Could you give your amateur fans some advice
how to improve their Go skills quickly?
Answer: Well, the most important thing is the Love of Go.
(silence for a while) Ability of reading moves is the most
fundamental in Baduk. So the shortest way of improving Go skills
is to improve your ability of reading moves. For that, I would
recommend to study many tesuji problems. Good Shaping and Moving
are possible when you have the ability of reading moves. Baduk
with weak reading is like builing a house on sand.
Question: How many moves ahead you read before you play a move?
Answer: Usually professional players, including me,
read around 100 moves ahead. But that's not the case for every
move. First select 10 candidate moves and then read ahead for
each of them. After reading ahead 20 to 30 moves for a candidate
move, one could reach a tentative conclusion like "this is a bad
shape" or simply "this is not it." At that point, I stop any
further reading for that candidate move and look for another.
This is a process of elimination that ususally leaves one or
two candidate moves. For each of these final candidate moves, I
read ahead about 100 moves. This might surprise amateur players,
but the more difficult thing is not reading ahead 100 moves,
but deciding which of the final cadidate moves gives a better
result. .... The most painful moment is when I realize that I
am on the wrong way a few move after my original decision. That
gives me an agony beyond description. People call me "Stone
Buddha" for my lack of facial expression during games. But
you will notice some changes in my face when I am in a bad
situation. You have to look at my face carefully...
Originally appeared in Baduk Monthly, January 2000
Retrieved and translated
by Ahn Toh-Kyeong from
This interview was done on December 8th 1999,
one day after game 3 of the Samsung Cup finals.